Archive for the 'euro' Category

Just in time for Christmas


Euro’s back up to $1.44 again. GROSS. And it looks like the pound is slipping down and nearly meeting the euro on it’s way. Does this mean I need to transfer to a UK school next semester? Might be a good idea! Apparently, we might get a break from the dip briefly after Obama jumps in, but we’ve got such a quagmire to go through. An infuriating, expensive quagmire.

Cheap and Cheerful by The Kills

Shake A Fist (Morsy mix) by Hot Chip

We’re on our way…

The euro fell really hard to today. I mean, really hard. It’s starting to look like study abroad circa 2007 all over again! I love this new $1.28. Still $0.28 too high, in my opinion, but I’ll take what I can get.

So, this leaves me open to post some obnoxious song, snidely referencing how the dollar is rising triumphantly over the euro. In a perfect world, I’d select Drop Down and Get Your Eagle On, Girl by Nelly. The title says it all. Unfortunately, this songĀ  disturbs me in a way I can’t explain. I’d also post Free Falling by Tom Petty, but it’s too obvious and I’m way too lazy to download that right now.

So instead, today’s song is “On Our Way To Fall” by Yo La Tengo. It’s pretty, melodic and pleasant, thus providing a sharp contrast to economic news. But really, it’s quite good.

Our Way to Fall by Yo La Tengo

Tempted to LOLcat this one, too-

Stupidest thing, but I love that both ING’s and Postbank’s logos are the same exact lion. If lions were indigenous to Holland, I would understand, but it’s strikes me as a generic “leadership” choice. According to my lazy Dutch, these bank lions bundle crack. Just kidding. It means that they’re joining forces. Odd, because I think ING owns Postbank. Anyway, it seems as if ING is in revamping a bit. They’re shutting down 38 different branches. Apparently, they’re moving from a traditional branch structure and focusing on insurance and mortgages. As long as the word “subprime” isn’t involved, they should be cool.

I can has automat?

Dutch Word of the Day
om te beweren: to pretend
Zij moeten ophouden bewerend te Febo zijn.
(Update: The correct sentence is “zij moeten ermee ophouden te doen alsof ze Febo zijn”. )
They must stop pretending to be Febo.

(By the way, could someone fire me a correct sentence? This can’t be right.)

So there’s a Febo-esque automat on Saint Mark’s Place called “BAMN!”. It looks like a cleaner, pink version of the one’s I saw in Amsterdam. It’s all coin operated, which is all well and good when you’re dealing with euros, but a little hassle with dollars. (Since single and 2 euros are all in coins, whereas we have single dollar bills and cumbersome numbers of quarters, dimes and nickels.) The funny thing is that they have “krokets” with the Dutch spelling. I’m tempted to buy one in order to dissect and compare it with the one I tried in Holland. (Note the singular.)

I can say this now without any bias: Antillean krokets are ten million times better than the Dutch ones. They’re more solid, taste better and won’t drip when you bite into them. The Dutch ones have this soupy pale filling that I can’t stand. The only good thing is their exterior. As for their New York counterparts? Stay tuned.

Since I Packed the Dictionary Away: PartIII

Things I’ll Miss:
Walk to Wok
Hearing Dutch everywhere
Pannekoeken aan elke hoek!
Evil Dutch Professor (for real. he’s hilarious!)

Things I Won’t Miss:
The Euro
Bad Internet
Lack of a campus feeling
Drug/Anne Frank tourists (the only thing they have in common? the nuisance they cause)

One Thing I Wish I had:

Dutch Word of the Day
werk: job, work
Ik wil werk voor de zomer.

I want a job for the summer.

It’s been very nerve wracking trying to get one while being in Amsterdam. It’s hard trying to call people who are six hours behind you while using a crappy prepaid phone that doesn’t take messages properly.

I haven’t really been enjoying the last two weeks here because I’ve just been too anxious. I should be hearing back from people and I haven’t. I can’t tell whether potential employers are discouraged by the time difference, the long distance or what but it’s really freaking me out. I have a good resume and I haven’t applied to anything I wouldn’t like to do, I just want someone to get back to me.

The fact that the euro is eating away at the dollar isn’t helping either. Anytime I go to withdraw money from the Postbank I can almost hear the machine snickering at me. (Not really, but it’s getting there.) I don’t need a heck of a lot of money, but I can’t deal with having absolutely nothing in New York all summer long.

I just want something to do.

Pimp Mijn Fiets

Dutch Word of the Day
voorspelbaar: predictable
Vanddag’s titel was voorspelbaar.
Today’s title was predictable.

Since the euro rose against the dollar again (it’s now 1: 1.35) I’m afraid I don’t see a lot of bike pimping in the future. I’ll have to cancel the instillation of the jacuzzi on the backwheel, the spinning rims, and the soundsystem that was supposed to be built into the handlebars. The new paint job and velour upholestry is in jeopardy as well. At least I’ll keep the GPS system that sounds like Kit from KnightRider.

I used the remainder of my bad internet reparations money on these little bike lights for night riding and a back of the bike bag, both from HEMA, the Dutch equivalent of Target/Woolworth’s.

Note that I didn’t buy a helmet. No one here buys them, let alone sells them. The only helmets I’ve seen were on little American kids on rented bikes. They probably brought them from home. Unless you’re competing in the Tour de France, you just don’t wear one.

I’m rather afraid of the euro rising to 1.40 before I leave. It’s was only 1.29 when I got here and it’s been getting worse. This is not good.

Saccahrine Amsterdam

Dutch Word of the Day
zuiker: sugar

Te veel zuiker is slecht voor je.
Too much sugar is bad for you.

But foreign candy’s so very good. And Holland has really, really good candy. I’m currently on the kinder bueno/ cracktella patch, but I still like a good Bounty bar now and then. It’s basically a Mounds bar called by a different name. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was the same company. Balisto’s really good and has some muesli in it, so you can
trick yourself into thinking it’s doing you some good.
The beverages here are a bit different as well. The Fanta’s amazing. It tastes like thick orange syrup at home, but here it’s yellow, thinner and just really good. The only sports drink I like at home is Propel water. Gatorade always tasted like plastic to me, so I guess I won’t be trying Aquarius anytime soon. I have no idea what Fernandes’ green punch and cherry bouquet are like, but I’ll get around to it.

The downer is that that most of the vending machines in the school buildings have converted to using Chipknip cards, which is this European Union credit card. You fill it up at ATMs with Euros, and use it everywhere. I think the only way you can get a real Chipknip card is if you have an EU bank account, which isn’t practical for me. I can get a prepaid one but it’s a pain to recharge. Why anyone would want to use a credit card to get a can of soda is beyond me, but that’s just the way it is around here. I can only print at one university building because all the other require this card. I wonder if they get a cut of the profits or something…


Dutch Word of the Day
kijken: to look

Ik keek te Eurobocht en overloofde.

I have looked at Eurotrash and survived.

The Dutch usually dress pretty well. Not horribly fussy, but very neatly. But everyone once in a while, I’ll see too huge retro-Reebooks paired with too huge glasses and a PLO scarf. Pick one! No, not two out of three. Just one.

However a lot of the time I feel like it’s not the Dutch people I’m looking at, but the tourists. This is the downside of living in the tourist heavy center if you’ve never lived in any other part of Amsterdam. You can’t tell who’s who until they open their mouth.

I didn’t blame the Dutch for the bulk of the Eurotrash fashion until I looked at this display in the window of P&C, a large department store by Dam Square. It’s a kiddie mannequin, which makes it even worse/better. I don’t know if you can make out the chain from his pocket or her leggings & boots combination. All trended out with nowhere to go. If you want your kid to look like a professional hot mess by the age of 12, this is the place to shop.


Banco Popular II: The Evidence

Dutch Word of the Day
geld: bank
Dit geld is Spaans.
This bank is Spanish.

Told ya’. Clearly, this is not the same Banco Popular that’s all over the boroughs and Puerto Rico, but it is a Banco Popular. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. All I need to find is the European equivalent of Tropical Fantasy and Dr. Jay’s and I’m in business.

Cash, Money

Always get your money changed at the post office as opposed to an independent money changer. You’ll get the best price and the most official exchange. Also, only bring small bills, like 20s, because $50 and above look sketch.

It’s really rainy out today. And the walk from Prinsengracht to Hendrikkade (where my classes are) is rather long. It’s a 30 minute walk, but a 15 minute bike ride. Hopefully the bike/deathtrap can change that.

Biking here is a a bit intimdaiting, but I figure that I can ride it on the gracht, and then walk it at busy intersections until I learn to keep up.

November 2021
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